Cape River: North Queensland’s first gold field

colorized print of a Richard Daintree photograph of Cape River gold field

The most notable features of Cape River society are patience, patchwork, rags, resignation, Chinamen, and fleas. In July, 1867, a party of six prospectors reported finding gold on the upper reaches of the Cape River, about 130 miles west of Townsville. By the following month there were 250 diggers on the field, and by October, … Read more

Richard Daintree and the first photographs of North Queensland

Richard Daintree studio portrait

Richard Daintree (1832-1878) was one of the first photographers in Australia, and after beginning his career as a geologist and photographer in Victoria, Daintree moved north as a business partner of pioneer pastoralist, and well-known North Queensland explorer, William Han, in 1864. Thus, Daintree has left a legacy of photographs documenting life in the north … Read more

From French boy to Aboriginal man: the story of Narcisse Pelletier

Photographic portrait of Narcisse Pelletier

In 1875, the captain and crew of a ship dropped anchor off the remote northeastern coast of Australia to replenish their water supply. Among a group of Aboriginal warriors encountered on land stood a young man who, like the others, was naked, and decorated with ritual scars on his chest and arms that were a … Read more

James Morrill: the first white resident of North Queensland

James Morrill portrait photograph

The first white permanent resident of north Queensland arrived at Cape Cleveland, near the present day city of Townsville in 1846, along with 6 other castaways from the shipwrecked vessel, Peruvian. Of these seven people, three died not long after landing. The four remaining survivors: Captain George Pitkethly, his wife, a young apprentice named Wilson, … Read more

John Moffat mini-documentary

John Moffat, Wonder of the North

A few months ago I decided to embark on a new career – YouTube documentary maker. I mean, how hard could it be? I’d recently slapped together some pictures from a recent trip to Japan, watched a couple of YouTube vids about how to pan and zoom on still pictures, downloaded some copyright-free, Japanese-flavored music, … Read more

Time for a blog

After 25 years of making web pages on Atherton Tableland Netguide, I decided to install a blog. “It’s about time.” Yes it sure is. It takes a lot of time to code every page of a website by hand. And the more pages there are, the more work and time it takes to make site-wide … Read more